Take a Virtual Vacation: Peru

In which Laura and Karyn and 18 writers explore Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of Peru.

Peru Here We Come

Tomorrow morning, Karyn and I fly to Mexico City and then to Lima and then to Cusco. We’ll stumble off the airplane at 11,000 feet and be greeted by a driver holding a sign with our names on it. An hour and a half later, we’ll arrive by van at Sach’a Munay, our home for […]

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Last Words Before Travel

Every week for the past 8 weeks, I’ve been sending our Peru travelers an email for information warming them up for next week’s trip. Here’s the final letter I just sent out. You can read and pretend you’re coming along. Here’s the letter: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. – Neale Donald

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A two hour drive to San Francisco, a flight to Mexico City, a overnight flight to Lima and a morning flight to Cusco and an hour and half drive into the magic of the Sacred Valley—and we’re here! Today is a day of rest and getting acquainted with this retreat center. Tomorrow Brenda, our True

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The Singing Bowls

This morning before breakfast, Gonzalo led me into the main yoga studio where Karyn will be teaching morning yoga and I will be holding our writing circles. The space is round like a giant yurt, but is called a molloka. I set my things in the corner and sat on the striped mat Gonzalo set

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A Walk in the Neighborhood

It was time to get a little exercise and test my lungs and legs this afternoon at 9000 feet and so I braved a tiny drizzle in my hiking sneakers, a pair of jeans, a scarf, a sweater and a light raincoat. I focused on all the textures I saw along the way because I

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All is in Readiness

Brenda and Karyn and I, and the phenomenal staff at Sach’a Munay, spent the entire day on last minute preparations for our guests who arrive tomorrow. We’ve gone over room assignments, menu plans, and the arrangements needed for each day of our itinerary. We’ve tweaked here and tweaked there. I watched the writing room come

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What I Love About Eco-Lodges

What I love about staying in eco-lodges—and I do stay in them as much as I can in my travels—is the relationship the lodge has with the extended community. Late this afternoon, when we went into the yoga room to see if it was all clean, we could see that the floor still needed to

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The Retreat is Launched

(Note: the Wi-Fi has been out for more than 24 hours. It has to go through seven towers to get here and people steal the antennas. So I will be doing several posts in a row to catch up.) This morning, Karyn taught her first yoga class for our newly arrived community, and after breakfast,

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The Things You Can Do With String

I’ve always loved string figure games. I grew up doing Jacob’s Ladder and playing Cat’s Cradle. String games are kind of like riding a bicycle—once you learn how to make them, you never forget. It’s muscle memory—cellular intelligence. When our kids, Eli and Lizzy were in elementary school, they went to an alternative elementary school

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I was up this morning at 3:30 AM with a headache. I’ve had a headache for some part of every day I’ve been here and the day we went up to Cusco to pick up our students, at 11,000 feet, I felt like my head was in a vise the whole day. As soon as

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The 12 Inch Exercise

On almost all of my travel trips, we spend one morning of writing class doing an exercise in deep observation. Paying attention is one the most important qualities a writer can foster, so this morning I read my students a story about deep observation in a scientific setting, and then sent them out, dressed in

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The Magic of Moray

After writing class today, we took an afternoon field trip to Moray, the ancient archeological site built by the Incas. A local guide from Urubamba, the next province over, joined us on our excursion today. Valentin grew up high in the mountains, the son of farmers. “The soil is very fertile with the good weather,”

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